Thursday, November 17, 2005
Hawkish Murtha Wants Pullout of U.S. Soldiers
By LIZ SIDOTI
The Associated Press
Thursday, November 17, 2005; 11:13 AM
WASHINGTON -- An influential House Democrat who voted for the Iraq war called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, another sign of growing unease in Congress about the conflict.
"This is the immediate redeployment of American forces because they have become the target," said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats. At times during his remarks to reporters, the decorated Vietnam War veteran was choking back tears.
"It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering, the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region," Murtha said.
Murtha, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, has earned bipartisan respect for his grasp of military issues over three decades in Congress.
He said announcing a U.S. withdrawal would provide the Iraqi government with an added incentive to have their own security forces take control of the conflict.
"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Murtha said.
GOI: I've been really mulling this issue over in my head for some time now and this speach from Rep. Murtha has convinced me that it is time for America to pullout from Iraq. We have succeeded. We got Saddam and most of his high ranking officials, no WMD's were found, a Constitution was passed and Iraqi forces have been building and training for years now. They may not be 100% but at what point will they be 100%? And can they EVER reach the same level of preparedness as our military?
Our withdrawal from Iraq would force these Iraqi's to step up and take full control of the conflict. I think that one of the main reasons that the Iraqi's haven't been willing to take full responsibility for the defense of their country is because they know that they have the Americans to take most of the duty and bullets. It's like the parent who does the homework for their kids. These kids will never learn anything or step up to do the homework unless the parent steps aside and allows the children to take control of their own future.
This might mean that there is an uptick in violence in Iraq and they might fall on their face for a time but I think this country is now in the hands of the Iraqi's and we need to step aside.
I've been leary of pulling out before because I thought that we needed to stay until the Iraqi forces were 100%. However, now I realize that they will never be able to take over until we move out of the picture and the stakes are raised for them to step up and take full control.
One arguement for keeping our troops there is this theory that the terrorists will just wait us out. However, the flaw there is that means we would have to stay there forever because even if we stay for 100 years the terrorists will still be there the day we leave. Iraq may plundge further into a civil war but that is their business at this point. How can we take sides in a civil war? We end up being caught in the middle and shot from both sides.
Iraq is probably never going to have the level of military that America has so again, we have to allow them to step up with the military they have and learn as they move along. After all wasn't it Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who said that you don't go to war with the army you want but with the army you have?
Anyway, the terrorists aren't going anywhere and so neither would we for generations upon generations and that continued occupation is just not realistic anymore. Our soldiers have been strained to the breaking point with some men and women serving 3 or 4 tours of duty already!
It is time to bring them home with the honor and peace that they deserve.
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